A Noobs Guide to Selling Your Car

Assuming that you have prepared your car for sale in such a way that it looks like it’s in a showroom condition (i.e. thoroughly cleaning it and making sure it is sound mechanically), one question that crosses many people’s minds is how should the car be sold and through what method?

There are actually quite a few different methods for selling your car, and it all comes down to how quickly or easily you want to sell it.

Selling Your Car

Here is a noob’s guide, along with the pros and cons of each method:

Local newspaper

Placing an advertisement in your local newspaper’s classifieds section is perhaps the oldest way of selling a car. You essentially write a small text description of your car, name your price and provide a telephone number for enquiries.

Local Newspaper
Photo by: NS Newsflash


  • Low cost – sometimes it might even be free to advertise in your local newspaper;
  • High circulation – many local newspapers quote high circulation figures.


  • Not flattering – a small text description with no photographs aren’t likely to pique interest;
  • Small reach – local newspapers only target local areas, not regional or national locations.

Car dealers

Photo by: Maxwell Hamilton

Many people opt to either trade their car in for a different one or sell it directly to car dealers that offer to buy cars for cash. This can be from independent car dealers or ones associated with a particular marque (also known as “main dealers”).


  • Quick and easy – trade-ins or cash purchases are dealt with in a timely fashion;
  • Local appraisals – you don’t need to drive a long way from home to sell your car.


  • Low trade prices – you won’t get the highest price selling your car this way;
    Not good for classics or imports – dealers usually only buy or trade-in common models.

Local auctions

Local auctions
Photo by: exfordy

Many car dealers and private buyers prefer to buy cars through local car auction houses rather than through other methods. This may be an alien concept to many people but the process is fairly straightforward; you provide full details of your car to the auction house; it gets added to the next available car auction and when your car is up next, interested parties begin to bid on it.

You can even set what’s known as a “reserve price” so that if the highest bid fails to exceed a minimum price, the car won’t be sold.


  • Good for selling a car quickly – no waiting around for phone calls;
  • You can name your price – only sell for a price you are comfortable with.


  • Costly – auction house fees can sometimes take a huge chunk out of your profit;
  • No guarantees – unless you set a reserve, you might not be able to achieve your price.


Photo by: Ed Yourdo

If you want to know how to sell your car using a convenient method, then selling it online is for you. There are many websites you can sell your car on, such as online auction sites, classified sites (either general ones or sites specifically catered for cars), and even enthusiast forums.


  • Convenience – sell your car from the comfort of your home;
  • Wide audience – you can sell your car to a national audience, rather than at the local level.


  • Cost – some websites charge a lot of money to advertise cars for sale;
  • Tyre kickers – online classifieds often generate interest from time wasters.
Following stints as a web content writer and social media expert, Antonio Richard has spent almost his entire career in online writing, he has worked for different World’s top rank directories and social sites and his most popular work can see in the field of Tech, Auto and Social Media.